Taking Courage and Collapsing Blogs

I am collapsing this blog into my main one at BJJ, Law, and Life. This one was separate for the reasons noted previously on the first post and the “This Blog” page. But, I have decided to bring the parts of who I am together in one blog. At least, I think have decided that.

As can be noted from the title of my main blog, it deals with things other than religious thought. I will work on a way to easily distinguish, at a glance, the post topics, since not everyone is interested in the same group of topics that I am. But, that will be a slower project since I am a little busy at the moment. However, I have copied my previous posts here into the main blog and I anticipate only blogging there from now on.

Thank you for reading and for the comments you have shared here!

Posted in Divine Female, LDS, Mormon, Possibilities for Priests and Priestesses?, women | Leave a comment

Stay Yet A Little Longer

I have much to do this weekend. I admit, I have been somewhat frustrated lately.

But, I want to be spiritually fed. I want to feel my Savior’s love and my God’s love for me. I want my heart to be/stay “soft.” So, as an act of faith, I turned on General Conference at the appropriate time for the first session today.

First Session Report

It was a bit of a roller-coaster ride. Some regular stuff, some good stuff that kind of spoke to me, and some extreme frustration such that I was ready to turn it off–had my hand on the remote. But, I decided to keep it on, do a little genealogy in the background because I figured I could still hear the words and process them (as opposed to my attentiveness if I was doing something that involved reading or writing complete sentences), it was an activity conducive to the Spirit, and it would keep me from throwing things . . .

Everyone loves President Uchtdorf—so much so that I feel like it diminishes my own assessment a little. But, every word he said felt like he was paying attention to our concerns, he knew us, he understood, and that he acknowledged that our concerns and questions are worthwhile, that we are valuable to the church. I felt validated in asking questions. I felt validated when he said something to the effect that we would be surprised to learn that they (the church leadership) are more like us than we know, that they ask the same questions.

It is so interesting that his was the last talk of the session. That fact was a type, I think. Patience and steadfastness, as hard and frustrating as that may be sometimes, are rewarded.  Had I turned off the TV, had I clicked the red power button, I would have lost the opportunity to hear his message, I would have turned off the power available to me today.

Am I still waiting? Yes, but at least I am still here waiting.

“Stay yet a little longer.”

Second Session Report

The most honest talk I have heard in a long time regarding what real people face here and now was from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland speaking about mental illness, addressing particularly major depression. He spoke to all of us, to those who suffer, and to those who love them. A couple of the quotes I jotted down:

Regarding watching for warning signs and scaling back when we need to: “Fatigue is the common enemy of us all.”

Regarding seeking both spiritual nourishment and care and professional help: “Our Heavenly Father expects us to use all the marvelous gifts he has blessed us with in this dispensation.”

Regarding all of us: “While the Lord is making those repairs [on emotional and mental health], the rest of us can help by being merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind.”

He also spotlighted “Mommy Blogger” Stephanie Nielson. Who knew a blogger would make the General Conference references?

Posted in Divine Female, LDS, Mormon, Possibilities for Priests and Priestesses?, women | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Women’s Full Spiritual Potential

Yesterday, I published a post doing two things: 1) Saying that I really enjoyed reading A Moderate Mormon’s Manifesto, and 2) Proceeding to jump up on my soapbox. After posting it, and thinking about it, I deleted it (and I had poured a lot of thought into it!). Why? Because my post was a little too preachy for my tastes.

But, that does not change the fact that Neylan McBaine wrote an excellent and insightful post. It is one of the positions that more closely corresponds to my own position on the potential development of the role of women in religion and in the gospel of Christ. I appreciate the time she took to write it and her courage in posting it.

Posted in LDS, Mormon, women | Leave a comment

Heavenly Mother? Mother Earth? Mother, Who Art Thou?

I just read an interesting post on Feminist Mormon Housewives. The author described the ritual she has planned for connecting with God the Mother.

The very first comment (by Phil) was, “Goddess worship, anyone?” Author Kimberly replied, “It beats ignoring her, Phil, when I know she exists. . . ”

I am glad she wrote this post. I am actually glad the first two comments comprised this exchange. I am glad because the exchange highlights the problem.

Her post has some historically-pagan-sounding characteristics to it. I am just summarizing it for those who do not wish to read the original post, not judging her choices at all. Phil pointed that out. Kimberly explained herself–perfectly.

We know we have a Heavenly Mother. Not only do we feel that to be true in our innermost souls and not only is it logical, but our very doctrine teaches it. But, our official doctrine only teaches it openly in one line of one hymn. Otherwise, it is acknowledged but hardly ever spoken of in orthodox company.

Without direction, without general revelation, we will fill in the gaps. It is human nature. The Greeks did it. They knew there was greater power than themselves, and they created the stories of their gods. At least they had a more equal distribution of their gods. After the death of Christ and the apostles, people still knew that Christ lived and that he was the Savior. They still sought him and the Father. They filled in the gaps, and we ended up with many, many denominations, much conflict, sometimes hate (how could that happen?), and even, sometimes, bloodshed (oh, sorrows!).

Women and men know She is there. Women, especially, yearn to know about her and to acknowledge her as the Queen of Heaven and Earth that she is. We have been silenced too long. We will fill in the gaps. Sadly, without direction, without revelation, history will likely repeat itself. There will be division, derision, and differences. But, we will do our best.

One answer is for each of us to seek individual revelation. That is never wrong. That will definitely lead us closer to Her and Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and improve our spiritual journey. It takes work. It takes a lot of work consistently to seek through the unknown so steadfastly. We may stumble along the way. One problem is that it is generally understood that we, individually, do not receive revelation for a broad general audience (this is not, at all, a negative hint at Kimberly’s post–she is simply sharing how she is reaching out to Mother, never prescribing her personal methods to anyone else and never assuming any authority to do so).

But, can we ask, as a church, together, men and women, to know more of our Mother? This would not lift the desirability to seek after Her personally, nor would it in any way supplant or diminish what we know of our Father, Christ, or the Holy Ghost currently. But, isn’t searching with some light to guide our way desirable, good, and righteous?

I don’t have rituals or observances or practices, yet.

I don’t know Her well, yet. I would like to. I really need to. I need both of my Heavenly Parents, the Savior, and the Comforter in my life.

Posted in Divine Female, LDS, Mormon, women | 5 Comments

Who Counsels in the Council?

What I am about to write will probably sound petty and petulant to many. Oh, well.

That is why this blog is anonymous. It is my space to be perfectly honest and give even my knee-jerk reactions, even those which I may take back later or regret. For example, this particular knee-jerk reaction concerns papers that will be published. I have no idea what they actually say, because they have not been published yet and, thus, I have not read them. They may say wondrous and glorious things that make my heart rejoice aloud. But, I worry they will not. This is a space for my worry to be expressed. I am glad I have this space.

The papers:

The blog By Common Consent just put up an interesting post about The Council of Fifty. I am thrilled, absolutely thrilled that nonmembers were included on this council, and were expected to continue on this council. Really. I cannot tell you how important I feel that was and is and, frankly, I am a little impressed, considering the time period.

Were women?

Is there room for women in future manifestations of this council?

Or is their voice supposed to be expressed only through their spouses, fathers, brothers, cousins, and friends? Are their concerns, ideas, insights, and inspirations transmitted only through intermediaries?

Because, if so, I don’t find that to be a very well counseled council.

Even if it is directed by God. I assume God the Mother has a voice in the Heavenly Councils?

I am so tired, so tired of feeling shut down.

Speak. Counsel together. Hear what we have to say.

Let us speak.

Posted in LDS, Mormon, women | Tagged | Leave a comment

Let Me Speak. Let Me Hear You Speak.

At the core of my being, I know God lives, knows me, and loves me.

Thus, when I have a religious crisis, it tends to consume my thoughts, crowding out mental time I need to have focused elsewhere. So, I write here, today.

I am a Mormon. I am a woman. I don’t feel like I can speak freely. Apparently, I do care about what other members of my ward think of me. I do want my daughter to be seen on her own merits and not interpreted by my words and actions and decisions.

But, I so desperately yearn for others with whom I can hold an honest and open discussion. The blogernacle has been helpful in realizing that, in the virtual world, there are others like me. But, I would really like to bounce ideas, thoughts, concerns, and hopes off of other people in real time, face to face, to have an exchange of ideas–a discussion. I feel so alone. Surely, other people do, too?

I would like to have a scripture study or a cottage meeting. But, I feel guilty because I don’t attend Relief Society during the week, and I know women are busy.

In such hypothetical, wished-for meetings or discussions:

I want people to feel able to speak freely, but I don’t want us to be judged. One calls for an open membership and public awareness; the other for a closed membership and invitation or “sponsorship” only. One would allow us to discuss problematic in-church discussions, but I don’t want to talk behind others’ backs or gossip or judge or have others feel judged.

I have two standards for my daughter. I let her bare her “sexy” shoulders everywhere but church meetings and functions. I do let her wear her “short” skirt to church, though. Judge away.

I don’t force my daughter to go to seminary. She is 17. At some point, I have to let her make these decisions. I am so impressed with her deep thoughts on spiritual matters.

I recognize that God is omnipotent and that I do not understand everything from my limited perspective. But, I don’t think this is all God’s word. If it is, I am tempted to “return my ticket.” I also realize the hubris of assuming that I can decipher which is which.

I admire the women who have a quiet unbending strength. I don’t feel like I am so refined. I don’t want to be an “angry woman.” But, I don’t want to budge either.

I am not advocating much at all–because I don’t even know what I think. But, discussion helps me think.

I want to speak. I want to hear.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment